Episode 109: Giving mobility to direct potable water reuse systems

Water shortage is a significant problem for communities across the United States year after year, but a new mobile direct potable reuse system could help provide a fast and reliable solution. Tzahi Cath, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, explains how the mobile system works and the potential it has for not only providing clean water but for new solutions and improvements to water conservation and reuse in the near future.

Episode 108: Finding practical solutions to the carbon problem

Carbon is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, and many researchers are trying to mitigate those effects. Many of those efforts involve carbon sequestration and reuse. Manika Prasad, geophysics professor and director of Colorado School of Mines’ CCUS Innovation Center, discusses the different carbon capture, utilization and storage options Mines researchers are developing and the new CCUS graduate certificate that will allow professionals to learn the nuances of these topics and become leaders in this new wave of sustainability.

Episode 107: Changing the economics of mining

Dealing with mine tailings—the waste materials left after the target mineral is extracted from ore at mines around the world—often pose significant challenges to mining companies and surrounding communities. But Priscilla Nelson, professor of mining engineering at Colorado School of Mines, explains that tailings actually can be utilized as a valuable and recyclable earth resource and may change the way we think about mine waste and the sustainability of extraction.

Episode 106: Robot 101: Learning how to communicate and interact with humans

The possibility of robot overlords? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that for a while. For now, scientists and engineers are focused on improving basic human-robot interaction to perform simple tasks and better understand and support humans. For Tom Williams, assistant professor of computer science at Colorado School of Mines, that means developing a robot’s working memory to improve robotic communication skills. Williams explains the process of teaching robots to think and act like humans and the technical, social and moral challenges scientists must contend with when doing so.

Episode 105: How does soil recover after a wildfire?

We know that most natural landscapes are able to recover after even the most severe burns, but not much is known about exactly how that happens within the soil itself. John Spear, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, discusses the importance of understanding how a soil microbiome rejuvenates after devastation and how it could not only give us better knowledge of our natural ecosystems but also help firefighters make informed, in-the-moment decisions about how to fight a wildfire.

Episode 104: Leading the second quantum revolution

Many scientists and engineers are focused on a new wave of innovation in quantum science and technology, revolutionizing the field and generating a need for skilled quantum engineers across various industries. Meenakshi Singh, assistant professor of physics at Colorado School of Mines, explains why we’re seeing this quantum surge, what this evolving technology will enable us to do in the near future and how Mines is preparing the next generation to lead the world through the next quantum revolution.